I received a free copy of the January/February 2019 copy of Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine from my friend and mentor, Bill Wu. He autographed his story in this issue, personalized for me. It was a surprise “Written in Mud” on two levels. If you have a chance, grab a copy. This Tall Tale is worth it.
“Written in Mud” is the story of four friends who try to figure out how they are going to survive after fraking for shale oil in Oklahoma caused massive earthquakes along the Humboldt fault in Kansas and the New Madris fault in Missouri. The friends are on what used to be a farm belonging to one of them. It is now the shores of Kansas. These four friends try to find a new occupation.
They make a trip upriver and discover that the answer to their dilemma was…well, you’ll have to read it.
Not only did Bill not give me any warning that he sent this to me, he didn’t tell me the story existed. It’s arrival was a Christmas surprise gifted to me without any expectations or obligations. This story is especially delightful to me because it contains a lot of nuggets or Easter Eggs that refer to books, stories, and personal memories. Memories I share with Bill and the other characters depicted in this story. No, I’m not going to out them. That’s their choice to make.
William F. Wu is a multiple award finalist and has had a long career in science fiction and fantasy. His story, “Wong’s Lost and Found Emporium” was adapted into an episode of The Twilight Zone in 1985. He lives in California with his wife and son. Read more about Bill’s amazing career on his website.
You can find William F. Wu’s novels and stories on Amazon. His most recent release, A Temple of Forgotten Spirits: The Complete Adventures of Jack Hong is available as an ebook or an audiobook.
The story, “Written in Mud,” makes a statement about fraking and about genetic manipulation. Perhaps it’s a bit of a warning, but it’s one that will make you laugh. Do you like humorous science fiction? Have you read “Written in Mud?” If not, be sure to pick up a copy of Asimov’s and find out the surprise that’s “Written in the Mud.”